Eleven companies are set to manufacture military equipment — hand grenades, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and communication components — at the Aligarh node of the defence-industrial corridor in UP, additional chief secretary Awanish Awasthi said on Monday. The project should get off the ground by November this year.
The 53-hectare Aligarh node is one of six along the corridor, the others being Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Chitrakoot and Jhansi. “A draft plan will be prepared in a month and work to offer basic amenities and infrastructure to the companies will begin by November this year,” said Awasthi, also chief executive officer of Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), which is the nodal agency for the project. Aligarh deputy commissioner (industry) Srinath Paswan added that the government has decided to acquire more land for the corridor in the city.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh had on August 9 said that India would stop importing 101 items of military equipment that can be made by domestic manufacturers. “Investments of more than Rs 400 crore by the MSME sector here will give a big push to the country’s Make in India programme. Our priority is to encourage Indian investors since the defence minister wants items of military equipment to be made in India,” Awasthi said.
However, he added, “We will surely get foreign investment once the project starts.” Most of the 11 companies who have been allotted land on the corridor now are from Aligarh, Delhi and Ghaziabad and are a mix of those that have been in the defence sector and those that have not.